Gatorade Celebrates Young Athlete Of The Year 2010
Earlier this week I traveled to Los Angeles to attend the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards, part of the ESPY Awards 2010.
Two-time Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year Brandon Knight (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year Chiney Ogwumike (Cypress, TX) were winners on the day, showing off their trophies in the photo above.
Upon entering the ballroom of the Marriott hotel (where the ceremony was held) banners featuring previous male and female winners were featured prominently, including Miami Heat player LeBron James, Orlando Magic player Dwight Howard and Olympic gold-medal winner (and former DrJays.com model) runner Sanya Richards. A drumline band kicked off festivities and the nominees were presented on stage, each representing a different sport. ESPN’s Stuart Scott was the event’s host, presiding over the luncheon. Professional athletes including WNBA champion Lisa Leslie, World Cup soccer champion Brandi Chastain, NFL player Wes Welker and NBA player Kevin Love presented the awards to the winners, and a moving tribute to Bruce Weber, official Gatorade Athlete of the Year historian who created the awards, was also made.
Established in 1985, the Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in D.C. and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. In addition to athletic excellence, the award recognizes academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.
The Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year 2009/2010 nominees (minus Soony Said, currently on an international soccer tour):
Later that evening, the winners and nominees walked the red carpet at their first ESPY Awards (they were featured as special guests during the show):
Check out my interviews below with many of the excited nominees (and winner Brandon Knight) for insight into the minds of young champions.
Brandon Knight (Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year 2009/2010; Winner, Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year):
Kasey Fagan (Gatorade National Girls Softball Player of the Year 2009/2010):
Malcolm Jones (Gatorade National Footballer of the Year 2009/2010):
Kaleb Cowart (Gatorade National Boys Baseball Player of the Year 2009/2010):
Megan Goethals (Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year 2009/2010):
For more information on the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards and the Gatorade Player of the Year program, visit www.playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.